Methods: Coupons were distributed to customers paying with a SNAP or Ohio Direction Card. Each coupon was worth $5 and could be redeemed for FVs. Transaction level data were uploaded through a secure File Transfer Protocol and stored on a protected server. For each transaction where a coupon was distributed or redeemed, a receipt was kept and entered into a database. Although we do not have demographic information about any specific coupon users, researchers collected the date and time of the transaction, SNAP dollars spent, number of items purchased, amount of SNAP remaining on the customer’s card, FVs purchased, and total amount spent on FVs from customer receipts. Researchers calculated days from coupon distribution to redemption. Paired t-tests were used to determine mean differences in SNAP spending, FV spending, and SNAP remaining at distribution and redemption.
Results: Of 328 coupons distributed, 217 were redeemed, averaging 2.4 redemptions per customer. On average, consumers took 15 days to redeem their $5 coupons. Much of the produce purchased included culturally-relevant foods within the Latino community, including yucca, plantains, and recao. FV spending at coupon redemption more than doubled from distribution, although overall SNAP spending remained similar.
Conclusion: Extensive supermarket receipt data allowed for examination of longitudinal changes in FV purchasing behaviors in a population of predominantly Latino SNAP participants. Coupon recipients did not spend more money during each shopping trip from coupon distribution to redemption, but did spend a greater proportion on FVs. This indicates that coupon incentive programs may help increase the proportion of FV spending among SNAP participants, which is particularly important in Latino populations.